This winter has been a whirlwind for Mets fans. Nobody believed they were “really” in on Bryce Harper, so they could easily ignore that. Many shook their heads as they chose Travis d’Arnaud over Wilmer Flores, but that’s still small potatoes. Trying to acquire Robinson Cano seems to be just the start to the Mets new short-term transformation and when they’re done trading for the former All-Star second baseman, Noah Syndergaard seems to be the next man up.
My problem with the Cano trade is he’s a short-term fix. He’s 36 so If you get three years out of him and even if the Mets get enough cash back, and savings from including Jay Bruce in the deal, it’s still a move that won’t look good down the road.
Brodie Van Wagenen is yet another Mets general manager who has the answer. And that answer is once again to trade the youth for more established players. Justin Dunn is a pitcher who I’ve been tracking for a while now. In the last year and a half, he had the look of a future #2 or #3 starter. Now 23, the Freeport, Long Island native tossed some good innings for Binghamton last season. In 89.2 innings he had 105 strikeouts. He was 6-5 in 15 games with a 1.36 WHIP. His WHIP in St. Lucie was 1.27. The dream down the road would have been deGrom as the ace, Syndergaard as the #2 and Dunn or Zack Wheeler as the 3 and 4. Now the Mets will be subtracting the 2 and 3 and we don’t know what Wheeler or Steven Matz are, still. We do know what Jason Vargas is and Corey Oswalt is a #5 at best.
The bullpen is important and getting an arm like Edwin Diaz is a good potential acquisition since he’s only 24. There is a worry that he pitched in 66 and 73 games the past two seasons. 57 saves look great, but it didn’t help transform Seattle. The other issue is your getting a 1-inning guy. You can get the occasional 1.1 out of him. Another top prospect the Mets would lose is outfielder, Jarred Kelenic. MLB.com’s prospect watch has him ranked 3rd in the farm system. He’s a smooth-hitting lefty. The Mets aren’t loaded in the outfield. Is this guy the next Alex Escobar, or a player closer to Michael Conforto. This is the real gamble of the trade.
According to Rich Mancuso, of www.nysportsday.com the Mets have an interest in veteran pitcher Gio Gonzalez. He’s a 33-year-old innings eater who the Milwaukee Brewers dropped off their playoff roster last year because of an injury. He made 12 million last season and now he’s a free agent. He can still pitch, but the Mets would be downgrading the rotation severely. He would be the #2 or #3 and that could be a reach for him.
In all of this, I’m assuming the Mets will actually lock up Jacob deGrom. The GM is his former agent, so the hope is the association helps this deal go further than the discussions he and the Mets had last winter.
The Mets are intent on making some moves and they don’t know what the Phillies strategy is yet and who they’re signing with all the money they have to spend. That could turn the division upside down. Last year the Mets had 77 wins and were 13 games behind the Braves. Even if rookie slugger, Peter Alonso can make the team and start at first base, I’m not sure the Mets get more than 82-85 wins unless something bigger happens, or they get a windfall for Syndergaard, and I’m not holding my breath on that one. The Mets best hope for next year is they win the NL East. That’s a big if. As far as the future? That doesn’t seem to be an issue they plan on tackling anytime soon.